Airplane Insider: Secrets I Learned Sitting Next to an Airline Pilot

Airplane Insider: Secrets I Learned Sitting Next to an Airline Pilot

While boarding a recent early morning flight returning from a Caribbean island, I had a déjà vu moment of sorts. I qualify it because I wasn’t reliving my own experience. Yahoo Travel editor Leah Ginsberg had just shared seven great examples of knowledge gleaned when she sat in the exit row with off-duty pilots. As hubby and I settled into a rare splurge on extra-legroom exit-row seats, sure enough, a pair of uniformed pilots slipped into the row across the aisle from us. It was like sitting with the cool kids!

I excitedly awaited the opportunity to start a conversation and see what I could learn. After the drink cart passed, I prompted hubby to lean across the aisle and break the ice by asking where they had spent the night on an island where most accommodations limit regular travelers to weeklong stays. He prefaced the question by telling them that we have been visiting the island for five years and that opened the door to a flood of questions, not from me, but from them! Here’s what I found out.

1. Pilots long to enjoy the destinations they fly us to. They wanted to know everything we knew about the island. They asked where we eat, where we stay, what our favorite dive sites are, and even what it costs for a week (excluding the cost of airfare, of course). One talked about bringing his wife; the other was scouting honeymoon destinations for his daughter.

It was only after more than an hour of asking questions that they got around to explaining the intricate details of pilot downtime rules that force the need for pilot rotations like the one they were on. If the inbound flight the night before is delayed even a little, there could potentially not be enough official rest time before morning. (The downtime doesn’t start when the plane lands, but when they are “behind the hotel door.”) The inbound pilots would not be able to fly back out on schedule the next morning. The guys sitting in coach with us had flown the plane in; a second crew was flying it home. So they often don’t have time to get to know the destination to which they are going.

2. Even pilots have travel bucket lists. It’s hard to believe that two pilots nearing the end of long careers flying the globe could have travel destinations yet to conquer, but both of these guys did. One wants to visit Ireland and has a trip planned there soon. The other confessed that when he travels for fun, it’s usually by car, but that he would love to spend time in Asia.

3. Pilots judge other pilots on their flying skills. It’s like there’s some secret point system. We had an incident on our approach to landing during which both nonflying pilots sized up the guy actually flying the plane. Just as the tarmac appeared beneath our plane, the engines roared and we suddenly climbed hard and began banking. While everyone else craned to look out the windows for an explanation, I looked at the pilots.

The aisle pilot calmly said, “Oops.” The window pilot studied the runway, now far below us, before explaining that it looked like a plane on the ground had not quite cleared the runway while taxiing to its gate. “No point lost for our guy,” he said. “It was a good call. He did the right thing.”

4. Pilots sometimes get annoyed or fight with the control tower (politely, of course). The two pilots agreed that such conversations were likely taking place as we circled wide to get back into position again. Our plane actually had to be routed back into the line of planes waiting to land — at the end of the line, our pilots said. “Sometimes they (the tower) will work you into the middle of the line, but it depends on the stack.”

5. Pilots don’t always tell passengers the truth. Following our missed landing, the pilot flying our plane confirmed over the PA what our aisle buddies had already told us. There had been a taxiing plane not quite clear of our intended landing strip. But not every pilot feels the need to be forthcoming, particularly when they are at fault. The aisle pilot told a story of a missed approach caused by pilot error. That pilot attempted to hide his mistake from passengers by blaming it on a nonexistent plane on the runway. What he did not know was that he told his fictional story to the control tower (which knew better), not to the passengers. Bad piloting and a finger on the wrong communication button put him at the very end of the line for his re-try.

6. Being a pilot can be lonely. My two pilots included their wives and families in every topic of conversation. Their job puts them in exotic destinations, far from their families, in the company of attractive co-workers, but for these two guys at least, it was just another day at the office with an eagerly anticipated return to home and family.

WestJet signs multi-year contract with Suncor

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WestJet announced today it has reached a multi-year agreement as primary provider for Suncor Energy to fly employees and contractors to and from its oil sands operations in Northern Alberta beginning in early November.

WestJet will use a combination of its Boeing 737 Next-Generation and Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft to fly Suncor employees and contractors between Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, and Fort McMurray and its operations in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta. The agreement will involve more than 100 weekly flights.

“We are very pleased to work with another great Canadian company like Suncor,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “Positioning us as the primary provider of charter services for Suncor, this agreement will facilitate the seamless movement of energy sector workers to and from their job sites, as well as from across the WestJet network.”

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada’s highest-rated airline for customer service, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country’s top employers. We offer scheduled service to 100 destinations in North America, Central America, theCaribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet’s extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ̶  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com

SOURCE WestJet

Air Canada 2016 Summer #TravelTips

Air Canada 2016 Summer #TravelTips

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Highlights

  • For a one-stop easy self-service travel experience, the best place for information is aircanada.com
  • Save time by checking-in online within 24 hours of departure at aircanada.com or mobile devices
  • Stay informed of flight status whether travelling on Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada Rouge ataircanada.com/flightnotification
  • Arrive early at the airport and consult recommended check-in and cut off times at aircanada.com/deadlines
  • Allow extra time when departing from the United States as security wait times may be longer than usual
  • Check size and weight allowance when packing at aircanada.com/carryon as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged
  • Customers should ensure their valuables, electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money, jewelry, cameras, are in their carry-on bags
  • Provide contact information including your email address
  • Customers should also provide their contact information at time of check-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) to ensure they can easily be reached in case of travel disruptions
  • Follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook for latest travel updates

MONTREAL, June 21, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ – Summer is here and Air Canada is offering tips to ensure a smooth travel experience. For the latest operational updates, customers are invited to visit aircanada.com, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook, and sign up for specific flight notification alerts. Additional information on what to expect and do in case of flight disruptions is available at

Flight status and travel updates online
Operational news is available in the Daily Travel Outlook under the Flights section at the bottom of the home page at aircanada.com. Before leaving for the airport customers should check the status of their flights on aircanada.com, or on an internet-enabled mobile device at mobile.aircanada.com, or by calling the toll free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.

Flight notification
Air Canada encourages customers to provide contact information including their email address and phone number so that they can receive flight delay and cancellation information directly on their mobile devices or via e-mail. To register or for more information, simply visit: aircanada.com/flightnotification.

Web and mobile check-in
Air Canada customers can save time by checking-in, selecting/changing their seat, selecting the number of checked baggage and paying any baggage fees within 24 hours of departure time either at aircanada.com or on their mobile devices throughmobile.aircanada.com.

Customers should also provide their contact information at time of check-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) to ensure they can easily be reached in case of travel disruptions.

Self-service rebooking tool
In the event of flight disruptions that may be caused by bad weather, customers are invited to rebook themselves using Air Canada’s self-service rebooking tool available on aircanada.com or their mobile device.

Recommended check-in times
During peak travel days, Air Canada recommends that customers arrive early at the airport to avoid problems associated congestion. Information on check-in times are available at: aircanada.com/deadlines.

Valuables, Medications, Car Keys
Customers are reminded to ensure that all their valuables, including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money, jewelry, cameras, etc., are with them or in their in carry-on bags and NOT in their checked bags. To facilitate security inspection, customers carrying gifts on board the aircraft should keep them unwrapped. Information on checked baggage allowance is available at: aircanada.com/checked.

Health Tips
Before taking a flight, Air Canada recommends that customers take the time to familiarize themselves with tips for a healthy travel experience provided by the Aerospace Medical Association, or see their doctor if they have a medical condition:http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/onboard/healthtips.html

Carry-on baggage
The carry-on baggage allowance is one standard article 23cm x 40cm x 55cm weighing a maximum of 10 kg, and one personal article 16cm x 33cm x 43cm weighing a maximum of 10 kg. More information is available at: aircanada.com/carryon. Airport agents will be screening and tagging carry-on baggage and passengers who exceed their allowance will be required to check their carry-on baggage, and additional checked baggage fees may apply.

Small lithium battery-powered vehicles not accepted as checked or carry-on baggage
Small lithium-battery powered vehicles (hoverboards, electric skateboards, airwheels, mini-segways and balance wheels) should be shipped via Air Canada Cargo. Information is available at aircanada.com/cargo

Personal electronic devices powered by lithium batteries [laptops, ipads, iphones, etc] and spare batteries must be in carry-on baggage.

Strollers
Air Canada recommends the use of small, umbrella type strollers as facilities are not designed to accommodate larger, heavy strollers. Collapsible strollers may be checked at the gate and will be delivered to you at the aircraft door at destination. Details of the stroller policy are available at: aircanada.com/infant-child.

Sporting equipment
Air Canada recommends that customers pre-register their sporting equipment by contacting Air Canada Reservations, Air Canada Vacations or their travel agent up to 24 hours prior to departure. Some sporting equipment is entitled to a waiver of oversize and/or additional piece charges. Details are available at: aircanada.com/excessbaggage.

External and internal name tags
As external baggage name tags sometimes become detached, Air Canada recommends that passengers place identification INSIDEtheir bag. A baggage ID template is available at:
aircanada.com/baggageid.

Travelling with children
Parents travelling with children should ensure they have appropriate documents including a birth certificate showing the name of both parents, legal documents pertaining to custody, or a parental consent letter authorizing travel where the child is travelling alone or with only one parent.

Children travelling outside of Canada with one parent may require legal documentation proving the other parent or guardian’s consent that the child may leave the country. Consult the Embassy or Consulate of the countries the child will be visiting and the Department of Global Affairs at 1-800-267-8376 to determine if such documentation is necessary.

Information on security measures
Government regulations stipulate customers can only transport in their carry-on baggage a limited amount of liquid, gel and aerosol items: 100ml/100g (3.4 oz) per article or smaller. Larger containers must be placed in checked baggage.

For more information on security measures, please consult the following official web sites:

In-Transit Pre-Clearance (ITPC) in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal
Customers arriving in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto from an international flight with a connecting flight to the U.S. do not go through Canadian Customs and Immigration. Their checked baggage is automatically transferred to their connecting flight.

Duty-free purchases
Any duty-free items purchased before or during a flight that exceed current Government regulations will be confiscated at security check points unless they are sealed in Security Tamper Evident bags (STEBs). For more information please refer to the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency (CATSA) web-site: catsa.gc.ca/duty-free-purchases.

Travel documentation
All international travel requires a valid passport and in some cases other documentation, such as visas, in order to enter the country of destination and/or for transiting connection countries. The IATA Travel Centre search tool offers details regarding country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirement.

Domestic travel requires government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older. Government regulations require that the name provided in the flight reservation be exactly the same as it appears in the travel documentation.  More information is available at: aircanada.com/traveldocumentation.

Air Canada encourages customers to complete any travel information form ahead of time at aircanada.com.

Travelling to, from, via or over the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer than normal in spring and summer. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport 2 hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Known Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times. Learn more

The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information please consult aircanada.com/secureflight

Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓™ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage. Learn more about TSA Pre✓ and how it applies to Air Canada flights.

 

SOURCE Air Canada

Federal government exiting aviation insurance business 15 years after 9/11 attacks

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Secrets Everyone Needs to Know About Flying

Secrets Everyone Needs to Know About Flying

Source: Tip Hero

Flying can be a huge part of life. It’s a way to get away, to visit family, to take those business trips we all love so much. But flying can also be a very stressful part of life – there’s a million annoying and tiring parts about flying that can make the whole experience a drag or sometimes even frightening. And who knows more about those annoying tidbits (and hacks to avoid them!) than the people who live their life in the sky: pilots and flight attendants. Take a tip from these professionals and learn some helpful hacks and interesting facts for the next time you fly.

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  1. Pilots Are Served Different Meals

    If there are two pilots on the flight, food poisoning is a big fear, for obvious reasons. To keep at least one pilot healthy, the pilots are served two different meals and are not allowed to share. This way, if one meal is bad, at least one pilot will be able to fly. Smart thinking.

  2. Consider Tipping the Flight Attendants

    The word “bribing” is kind of strong. I’d prefer…letting the flight attendants know you care! Attendants have stated that they never get tips or gifts, so if they were to get saaay a $20 bill or a box of chocolates, you will be treated like royalty.

  3. Add More Arm Room

    This is a great hack for a window seat passenger. On the underside of the armrest, you’ll feel a button right by the joint of the arm. Push it, lift it up and you’ll instantly have more room to lounge about!

  4. Planes Don’t Need Two Engines

    It’s been proven that most large commercial air crafts don’t actually need two engines to fly. Whether it’s comforting or terrifying, one engine will work just as well.

  5. Pilots Need Sleep, Too

    It sounds scary, but it’s true. Half of all pilots admit to taking a nap while flying. Don’t panic: this is what a co-pilot is for.

  6. Opt For Bottled Water

    Think twice about asking for a glass of water, coffee or tea on your flight. Flight attendants have reported that most of the flight’s water comes from a (usually older) holding tank…that means the water is not super clean. Ask for bottled water.

  7. Your Checked Bags Aren’t Always Handled Well

    Baggage handlers have to fit freight and 100+ bags into a cargo pit…needless to say, they’re going to make it fit however they can, no matter how fragile they are. Try your best to avoid bringing delicate objects on board and a “I Love Baggage Handlers” tag never hurt anyone.

  8. Bring Hand Sanitizer

    Planes. Are. Dirty. Your trays especially are covered in germs. So please, do not put your food on your trays. And don’t slack on the hand sanitizer.

  9. Something Will Always Be Broken on the Plane

    Planes are big machines, which means the odds are that something will be broken. Luckily, all the bigger parts of the planes have two or three spares on board, little do passengers know. Generally, the things that are broken on a day-to-day basis are more like reading light, coffee makers ect.

  10. The Truth About Oxygen Masks

    As it turns out, you only have about 15 minutes worth of oxygen per mask. However, that is plenty of time for the pilot to get the plane to a lower altitude. It’s also good to know that you have about 20 seconds before you pass out in a high enough altitude – that’s why you should put your mask on first and then your child’s mask.

  11. The Lights Are Purposefully Dimmed

    The reason the lights are dimmed before landing a nighttime flight is in case you need to evacuate the plane. Just in case you do have to get off the flight quickly, the dimmed lights will have helped your eyes adjust to the darkness so you can move quickly.

Air Canada to Purchase Bombardier C Series as Part of its Fleet Renewal Program

MONTREAL, Feb. 17, 2016 Air Canada announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Bombardier Inc. for the acquisition of up to 75 Bombardier CS300 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G engines as part of its narrowbody fleet renewal plan. The LOI contemplates 45 firm orders plus options to purchase up to an additional 30 aircraft and includes substitution rights to CS100 aircraft in certain circumstances.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2019 and extend to 2022. The first 25 aircraft on delivery will replace Air Canada’s existing mainline fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft, with the incremental aircraft supporting Air Canada’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world’s youngest, most fuel efficient airline fleets.

The C Series purchase is subject to completion of final documentation and satisfaction of certain other closing conditions precedent.

“We are delighted to announce this important agreement with Bombardier for the purchase of CS300 aircraft as part of the ongoing modernization of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “With its high fuel efficiency performance and greater seating capacity, the next generation technology of the C Series is very well suited for our current and future network strategy and will be an extremely efficient addition to our fleet. The renewal of our North American narrowbody fleet with more capable and efficient aircraft is a key element of our ongoing cost transformation program – plus the enhanced passenger cabin comfort provided by the CS300 will help us to retain Air Canada’s competitive position as the only Four-Star international network carrier in North America.

“The entry of the C Series into our fleet is expected to yield significant cost savings. We have estimated that the projected fuel burn and maintenance cost savings (on a per seat basis) of greater than 15 per cent should generate an estimated CASM reduction of approximately 10 per cent, when compared to the aircraft it will replace.

“Air Canada has a long history of collaboration with Bombardier. Air Canada Express regional partners operate one of  the largest fleets of Bombardier aircraft in the world with a mix of  over 135 regional jets and turboprop aircraft by December 31, 2016.

“We were one of the launch customers for the Canadair Regional Jet and today’s announcement reflects our continued support forCanada’s aerospace industry and for the new technologies the industry may develop. We fully expect the new technology of the C Series to efficiently meet the demanding needs of our current and future network strategy,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

The acquisition of the C Series aircraft represents a key element of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet renewal program and complements the acquisition of 61 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft announced in December 2013 to replace the larger end of the airline’s mainline narrowbody fleet. The Boeing agreement provides for Boeing to purchase up to 20 of the 45 Embraer E190 aircraft in Air Canada’s fleet and the first 25 C Series will replace the remaining E190s. Boeing 737 MAX deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2017 and extend to 2021, while the C Series deliveries are scheduled to start in late 2019 and extend to 2022.

About Bombardier C Series aircraft

According to Bombardier, the C Series family of aircraft, representing the fusion of performance and technology, is a 100 per cent all-new design. By focusing on the 100- to 150-seat market segment, Bombardier has designed the C Series aircraft to deliver unparalleled economic advantage to operators and to open up new opportunities for single-aisle aircraft operations. By employing advanced materials, state-of-the-art technologies and advanced aerodynamics, combined with the groundbreaking Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G engine, the C Series aircraft is delivering a greater-than 10 per cent unit cost advantage compared to similarly-sized, re-engined aircraft. In addition to delivering best-in-class economics with the C Series aircraft, Bombardier has placed considerable emphasis on cabin design to ensure a superior passenger experience. The aircraft offers 19-inch-wide seats that set a new industry standard, large overhead bins that accommodate a carry-on bag for each passenger, and the largest windows in the single-aisle market. Together these attributes create a widebody feel that offers passengers an unparalleled level of comfort. All noise performance testing on the CS100 aircraft has been completed and data confirms it is the quietest in-production commercial jet in its class. The aircraft’s noise performance and its outstanding short-field capability make it ideal for varied types of operations. The C Series aircraft’s maximum range has also been confirmed to be up to 3,300 NM (6,112 km), some 350 NM (648 km) more than originally targeted.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2015 served more than 41 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 86 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,330 airports in 192 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier inNorth America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. For more information, please visit:www.aircanada.com, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION 

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable.  These statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments relating to preliminary results, guidance, strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions.  Forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as “preliminary”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “predict”, “project”, “will”, “would”, and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. 

Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions, including those described herein and are subject to important risks and uncertainties.  Forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including without limitation, our ability to successfully achieve or sustain positive net profitability or to realize our initiatives and objectives, our ability to pay our indebtedness, reduce operating costs and secure financing, currency exchange, industry, market, credit, economic and geopolitical conditions, energy prices, competition, our ability to successfully implement strategic initiatives and our dependence on technology, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, casualty losses, employee and labour relations, pension issues, environmental factors (including weather systems and other natural phenomena and factors arising from man-made sources), limitations due to restrictive covenants, insurance issues and costs, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, dependence on suppliers and third parties, including regional carriers, Aeroplan and the Star Alliance, changes in laws, regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties and the ability to attract and retain required personnel, as well as the factors identified throughout this news release and those identified in section 17 “Risk Factors” of Air Canada’s 2015 MD&A dated February 17, 2016.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Air Canada’s expectations as of the date of this news release (or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made), and are subject to change after such date.  However, Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.

 

SOURCE Air Canada

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